What I read this week #6

Happy May! This past week felt incredibly slow but now I’m wondering how 2016 is flying by. It has been about six months since I really decided to pursue UX and I’m not about to stop here. The more I delve into the UX world, the more I realize that I’m interested in the research side of it. Naturally, I’ve always been a curious person so research is something I’m pretty good at. Here are some articles I read last week that I thought would be worth sharing.

1. Defining UX Research Objectives
By Hannah Alvarez from User Testing Blog
This is a great read on how to create and execute research objectives. I like Hannah’s point on not needing to uncover every single usability problem and perform an exhaustive study. Rather, she encourages us to have focused studies with one solid objective. This way, the studies are more productive and manageable. There are many facets to a successful UX research project so it’s great to read articles like these that are very specific and give solid advice.

2. Add to Cart vs. Add to Bag: Which Button Label to Use
By Anthony from UX Movement
It is crazy to think that something as minuscule as word choice can make all the difference in the world. This was definitely an interesting read on the specific behaviors that humans exhibit based on the words used. For example, a bag is something that people associate with once they are done shopping. However, a cart reminds them that they haven’t made that commitment just yet and are free to put stuff in and take things out. This simple difference triggers a different action from people and that can have major implications for the business.

3. UI vs. UX: What’s the difference between user interface and user experience?
By Spencer Lanoue from User Testing Blog
Articles like these are great because they help me distinguish the difference between UI and UX. They also allow me to pick up on strategies to explaining it to others because I definitely struggle with that. In summary, UI is the visual and functional stuff and the forefront of the tool. In contrast, UX is the way people interact with the tool as well as the services behind it. These two things are much more complex than that and Spencer does a great job breaking it down.

4. 5 Ways Varied Job Experience Helps Your Career
By Terrence W. Norchi from Entrepreneur
This article was both helpful and encouraging to me because I’ve had various jobs in seemingly-unrelated industries. I did public relations at a non-profit, temped for an investment bank, taught ESL in Asia and now I’m doing paralegal work. These jobs gave me useful skills all across the board and helped me empathize with a wider range of people. A lot of what Terrence says in this article feels true to my situation. Sometimes, I get nervous that my LinkedIn doesn’t show a conventional career path but I’m also convinced that that’s what makes me more interesting as a person.

5. Quit Designing Websites That Simply Look Good. Create Sites That Work
By Neil Patel from Entrepreneur
I like that this blog, Entrepreneur, has a wide-array of articles. They always manage to come back to the same thing: being an entrepreneur. This article looks at the art of the website through a business perspective and why it’s important for everyone to create ones that work. Although it may seem obvious, it’s crucial to note that a website can be beautiful and functional. In fact, it seems necessary for businesses to represent themselves through a website that can actually be used. Otherwise, it can significantly cost the company. This was a good and engaging read.

This week, I didn’t have too many articles to share because I didn’t read as much. Work itself was a bit hectic. Also, I went to three events last week and then spent an entire day at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden. It was crowded but the cherry blossoms were absolutely stunning. I truly felt like New York City’s spring has arrived. I have two pictures on my Instagram from that day but my Nikon D5300 took much better images. I’m looking for a platform to start a portfolio so that I can share my pictures and then eventually my UX work. Any recommendations?




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